The knife is not a new tool. Rather, it is the earliest tool ever made by man in prehistoric times. The ancient man was quick to realize that a sharp tool like a knife could be of several uses.
It could be used for hunting animals, for protection in terms of danger, for chopping branches and kindling, and for starting a fire. The earliest knives were made of rocks and stones. Yes, it took a lot of time and patience to carve a knife out of a rock or stone but it was more durable than any of today’s knives.
If fire changed the course of civilization then the invention of the knife made it easier for man to not only hunt for food but also build other tools and protect themselves against danger.
The knife remains one of the most useful and versatile tools even today although no one will admit it. That’s because of the bad rap that the knife has earned, thanks to the media. The knife is looked at as a weapon more than a useful tool.
A Plethora of Uses
Carrying knives is banned in many regions as well as on aircraft. While knives are indeed used for various unethical and criminal purposes, it does not diminish the usefulness of knives in a variety of situations. Just watch Rambo!
From chopping vegetables and fruits to pruning trees to opening packages, cutting ropes, making drainage holes to cutting a seatbelt to save someone from a burning vehicle, the uses for a knife are truly endless. Anyone who watches Dual Survivor knows all about this!
This is the reason why a lot of people left to carry a pocket knife with them all the time. You can easily do this in certain regions where knives are permitted. And there is a good reason why you would want to.
Practicality and Convenience
A pocket knife is small, easy to carry and conceal, often lightweight and multi-tool, but it comes in handy in various situations. For instance, when on a hiking trip and making your way through the deep dark woods your shoes get tangled in something.
With the help of a pocket knife then easily snap whatever your foot is tangled in and be free to walk again. There are several other reasons why a pocket knife has been a favorite tool over the decades. Various companies have cashed in on this fact and come up with their own versions of the pocket knife.
The most famous everyday carry knives are made by German Swedish and French companies. Later American companies started to produce their own everyday carry knives.
When it comes to American EDC knives there are a number of famous companies that have been in the business for several decades. Two such renowned EDC knife companies are Kershaw and Gerber. Any pocket knife lover will be familiar who is these two companies that have been around for more than 50 years.
Over the decades both Kershaw and Gerber have built their own cult following and also stiff competition. The two companies are often compared and contrasted, and their high-quality pocket knives often pitted against each other, but they have their own places in the tactical knife industry.
About Kershaw Knives
Kershaw Knife History
Kershaw Knives was founded in 1974, after Pete Kershaw, a former knife salesman at Gerber Legendary Blades, decided to start his own company. While the company was based out of Portland, Oregon, the earliest knives were mostly manufactured in Japan.
Kershaw became a fully owned subsidiary of the KAI Group in 1977, based in Tualatin, Oregon. Kai is actually a Japanese company that has been making knives, utility tools, and cutlery since 1908. Kershaw Knives became a brand under Kai USA.
From the very beginning, Kershaw Knives has been a very popular company because of their quality pocket, sporting, and tactical knives.
By the 1990s, the company managed to build such a huge customer base that they had to open a production facility in Oregon. But by 2003 the company needed and even bigger site so they moved to a different production facility. At present, Kai USA has manufacturing facilities in Oregon, Japan, and China.
Kai USA, as well as Kershaw Knives, have been the recipient of several prestigious awards for their exceptional knife-making and craftsmanship. Their other brands, Zero Tolerance, and Shun have also won a number of industry awards.
Kai USA won four awards at the Blade Show in Atlanta in 2005. Later, in 2007, the Kershaw “Tyrade” won the Overall Knife of the Year Award”, for using two different kinds of steel in the same blade. In 2009 the Kershaw win for the Speedform won an award while in 2010, Kershaw Tilt won the “American Made Knife of the Year”.
Kershaw Knives Specs
Kershaw Knives are known for various technologies, the most popular being the Composite Blade Technology. Patented by Kershaw, the Composite Blade Technology involves combining two types of steel in one blade.
Many of Kershaw knives have superior edge retention steel in the cutting edge and incredibly strong steel along the spine. These two materials are permanently bonded and will never come apart.
Some of the other features that Kershaw Knives are known for are different types of blade locking systems and the glass breaker tip. A blade lock is supposed to keep the blade in place until the user releases it.
A superior blade locking system will prevent the blade from opening when you’re carrying the knife in your pocket, and also keep the blade from closing on you while in use.
Kershaw has some of the most varied locking systems, such as liner lock, inset liner lock, frame lock subframe lock, hawk lock push button lock, and mid-lock. Most Kershaw knife handles also come with a glass breaker tip, which is an extremely tough carbide tip used in emergency situations to break through safety glass.
Kershaw knives are generally budget-friendly. Some of the best knives are priced within $150. Kershaw knives begin from as low as $30, so both beginners and pros have something for them.
All Kershaw knives come with a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner, so when the knife changes hands, the warranty doesn’t remain active anymore. The warranty is for manufacturing defects in material and construction.
Top 3 Kershaw Knives
1. Kershaw Blur
One of the most famous Kershaw knives ever, the Blur is designed by Hall of Fame knife maker Ken Onion. It is designed to be a work knife and is indeed extremely well made.
The Blur comes in various models handle colors and blade materials – from the mid-range T14C28N steel to more premium kinds of steel if you are willing to pay more.
The blade length is 3-3/8 inches, while the 6061-T6 anodized aluminum handle is available in various colors like olive, black, red and desert sand, and comes with Trac-tec inserts. The Blur also has the SpeedSafe opener, a liner lock, and an adjustable pocket clip.
The knife weighs a little over four ounces, which is slightly on the heavier side. The blade is either smooth or serrated. The most advanced model of the Blur is the Glassbreaker, priced at $60.
2. Kershaw Leek
If you are looking for the ideal EDC knife then your search ends with the Kershaw Leek. The blade is all of three inches, neither too big nor too small. The slim design makes the knife portable and razor-sharp Sandvik 14C28N steel blade enables it to perform a wide range of cutting tasks.
This one too is designed by Ken Onion, the reason why it has the ambidextrous SpeedSafe opening mechanism. The blade is a modified drop-point and good for slicing, while the slim tip is good for piercing and detailed work. The Leek comes in both smooth and serrated blades, with a handle of pure stainless steel.
For total confidence and security, the safe frame lock keeps the blade securely locked during use and a Tip-Lock slider locks it when closed The adjustable pocket clip can be used for carrying the knife tip-up or tip-down.
3. Kershaw Cryo
At only $58, the Cryo is one of the most affordable Rick Hinderer designs you could own. The Cryo is slightly smaller than other Hinderer knives, which makes it perfect for everyday use.
Cryo is built of pure stainless steel and coated with matte grey titanium carbo-nitride for a shine-free appearance and complete invisibility in the dark. Because of Rick’s experience as a firefighter and EMT, the knife is designed to be rugged and capable of performing under all conditions.
It’s designed to be a tough and high-performance knife that feels good in the hand and is also aesthetically pleasing.
The Cryo locks up securely with the tough frame lock that comes with lockbar stabilization. It also has the ambidextrous SpeedSafe assisted opening that can be accessed either with the built-in flipper or the thumb stud.
About Gerber Knives
Gerber Knives History
Gerber Legendary Blades was founded over 80 years ago in Portland, Oregon. The Gerber family was initially not a knife manufacturing company. They first started with an advertising firm in 1910.
The idea of opening a knife manufacturing company formed when Joseph Gerber mailed a few of their clients some handmade knives as Christmas gifts. This was in 1939.
These kitchen knives became so popular with those who received them that catalog retailer Abercrombie & Fitch requested more of them from Gerber for selling in their catalog. Gerber Legendary Blades was founded the same year.
It did not take long for the knives to become popular. As the demand and the customer base grew, the company relocated to a bigger facility in Tigard, Oregon, in 1966.
Fiskars Brands Inc acquired Gerber in 1987. Gerber Knives was and still is one of the largest producers of multitools, with over 300 employees and $100 million in revenue.
Over the years, Gerber has collaborated with various famous knife makers for their products. Some of the most renowned designers to have worked on Gerber knives include Blackie Collins, Bob Loveless, William Harsey Jr., Paul Poehlmann, Rick Hinderer, Fred Carter, Brad Parrish, Matt Larsen, and Ernest Emerson. The Bear Grylls line of survival knives and tools is also very popular.
Gerber uses the standard high carbon stainless steel also called surgical stainless steel for most of its budget knives. It is equal to the 440A stainless steel or the Japanese AUS6 and AUS8.
Their higher end knives come with 12C27 blades and the most premium ones come with the high-quality S30V steel. Gerber knives come with limited lifetime warranty within the US and 25 year’s limited warranty outside the US.
Top 3 Gerber Knives
1. Gerber Hinderer CLS
If you’re fond of folding tactical knives that easily fit inside your pocket and also perform well under any condition, then the Gerber Hinderer CLS will not let you down. One of the most popular Gerber knives, the Hinderer CLS is a folding pocket knife that looks small but packs quite a punch.
Over the years, the Hinderer CLS has withstood some of the roughest conditions put into by users and lived to tell the tale. Because it’s a tactical knife, it is tough and capable with various features. The blade is made out of 440A steel with a matte black finish, which makes it almost invisible in the dark. This gives the knife a stealth factor that comes in handy in dangerous situations.
The Hinderer also has a seat belt cutter, a glass breaker, and an oxygen tank wrench. At only $53 this is one of the best tactical knives you could ever ask for.
2. Gerber LMF II Survival Knife
This is an extremely rugged knife from the house of Gerber. Whether you’re up in the hills or deep in the woods, this survival tool will bail you out of any sticky situation in an instant. It comes with a ballistic nylon handle that can survive the roughest conditions without letting you down.
Even in a fire, the knife will perform because of the fire retardant coating. The tough blade is partially serrated, which makes it suitable for a wide range of tasks, from cutting firewood, to slicing game to fending off attackers.
This is one of those Gerber knives that come with a sheath and a built-in sharpener. So while you store the knife in the sheath, it not only remains protected from falls but also remains sharp. It retails for $76 online.
3. Gerber Paraframe Mini
This may be priced at only $13, but it is one of Gerber’s bestsellers. No, you cannot use it for heavy-duty tasks, but if you’re someone who never leaves the house without an EDC knife, then this is an ideal regular knife.
It’s small and basic, made for simple purposes like opening packages, peeling fruits, and first aid. The 2.2-inch edge is fine enough to allow all the daily tasks effortlessly. The Paraframe Mini can also be used for sharpening other knives.
The Bottom Line
Gerber is a budget knife company while Kershaw is for high-end tools. Popular opinion is always more in favor of Kershaw.
Not only is it an award-winning brand, but it also has several patented technologies to its name. The steel used is always the best quality. Kershaw is also known for its customer service and warranty.
If you’re a knife newbie, Gerber is a great brand to begin with. Also if you’re mainly going to use it for regular tasks like cutting open packages and cutting wood, Gerber is the way to go. Kershaw knives are too sophisticated to be put to such menial uses such as cutting the cheese for your ham and cheese sandwich!